IT Analytics helps AD DOF to improve operations

The Abu Dhabi Department of Finance has deployed IT analytics solutions from Nexthink to help it better manage its infrastructure and systems, and focus more on strategic goals

Tags: Abu Dhabi Department of FinanceIT analyticsNEXThink (www.nexthink.com/)United Arab Emirates
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IT Analytics helps AD DOF to improve operations Improved IT analytics has helped Abu Dhabi Department of Finance to focus on core IT issues rather than infrastructure management, says El Khatib. (ITP Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  November 24, 2015

Managing increasingly complex IT environments is a growing challenge for IT departments, especially as they face the need to integrate disparate systems, manage complex user requirements and tackle the growing security issue. For the Abu Dhabi Department of Finance, which not only has to manage its own systems, but provides shared services for 64 Abu Dhabi government entities, keeping its IT environment running at peak efficiency, and being able to identify issues as soon as they arise has become a mission critical requirement.

The Department of Finance is in charge of the Abu Dhabi ERP (ADERP), a centralised Oracle ERP solution which provides financial processes, HR, procurement and other ERP functions as a shared, cloud-based service for 64 client organisations in Abu Dhabi government. With so many users reliant on DoF systems to provide the application which supports their daily work tasks, it is essential for DoF to be able to have deep insight into the functioning of its systems. As the ADERP has evolved, with new functions being added, new engineered hardware put in place to support the applications, and a government-wide mobile app which will access the Oracle ERP, so the demand for IT analytics has increased.

Dr Hazem Turki El Khatib, CIO, Abu Dhabi Department of Finance, explained that the organisation identified a need for an IT analytics solution to provide insight and management into the functioning of its infrastructure and systems. After conducting an RFP and examining the solutions in the marketplace, the DoF settled on a system from Nexthink.

“Implementing a governance systems from Nexthink, it was very important at this stage to look at infrastructure behaviour, network behaviour, servers and even workstations. We wouldn’t have thought about this maybe five years ago, but now because of the portfolio, I think it is very important to have these kind of tools,” he said.

Among the reasons why the Department of Finance selected Nexthink’s solutions was ease of use, and the speed with which the solution could be deployed. El Khatib said that the system includes good visualisation capabilities, which helped to make reports easy to understand and enabled the IT team to get to grips with the solution much more quickly.

“It was a very smooth implementation, we got the ROI the same day that we implemented it, I am receiving regular reports from the system about any issues that we are facing in our infrastructure,” he said.

Around 15 Department of Finance IT staff across different functions including systems, security, database, and network are now using the solution on a daily basis. The IT team is now able to gather comprehensive performance metrics and accurately measure the health of its systems, from infrastructure through to end points. The system provides both deep analysis of performance, with comprehensive performance metrics reporting, to aid the IT department to see how systems can be improved, and also enables the team to react more quickly to any issues that arise, through issuing real-time alerts, if for example, non-compliant user behaviour is detected, if there are service outages and so on, all of which help to improve productivity and efficiency.

The system has also delivered some specific benefits in managing the IT environment, El Khatib said. The solution has improved functions such as patch management, and also enables real time analysis of bandwidth consumption. It has also helped with asset management, including software licensing, where the department was able to identify unused software licences, and transfer them to users that required those applications, to better control licensing costs.

Another major area where the solution has improved operations is in security, where the solution has helped in areas such as malware detection, and also in providing an accurate system to identify where problems might be.

“We have a very strict security policy, and a dedicated security team. Now, if I have any issue, I can ask the guys to go to Nexthink and find out what is going on, whether it is a problem in the network, the server, anything. We have a one-source tool to find out about our infrastructure, I don’t have to go to different systems to find out what is going on in my infrastructure, my team can get one source of truth,” he explained.

El Khatib said that there are still more benefits to be gained from having better IT analytics: “We have a team who is working heavily on using Nexthink, and we need to make use of this tool. I told my team that they need to dig deep into this tool — the more you use this tool, the more benefits you will get from it.

“We are happy to use Nexthink, and we are looking forward to new features that can help us focus on our core activities. I don’t want to be bothered so much with small infrastructure issues, I need to concentrate on the Department of Finance’s IT strategy, future projects and new initiatives that can help my customers better do their job,” he added.

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